Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

Ikigai

The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

By Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles
15-minute read
Audio available
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles

Ikigai (2016) is your guide to living a long, happy life through the wisdom of Japanese culture. These blinks delve into every area of Japanese life to uncover their secrets of longevity and to explain why so many Japanese, especially those on one island in particular, live well past 100 years of age.

  • Japanese cultural enthusiasts
  • Those wishing to live to a hundred
  • Seekers of happiness

Hector Garcia Puigcerver is a dual citizen of Japan and Spain, a specialist in Japanese culture and the author of A Geek in Japan.

Francesc Miralles is the best-selling author of Love in Small Letters and Wabi Sabi.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Ikigai

The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

By Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia Puigcerver and Francesc Miralles
Synopsis

Ikigai (2016) is your guide to living a long, happy life through the wisdom of Japanese culture. These blinks delve into every area of Japanese life to uncover their secrets of longevity and to explain why so many Japanese, especially those on one island in particular, live well past 100 years of age.

Key idea 1 of 9

A deep purpose in life is the secret to longevity.

Are you interested in living a long, healthy and fulfilling life? Who isn’t?

The secret to doing so just may be found on the island of Okinawa, in southern Japan, home to the highest concentration of centenarians in the world.

And these island dwellers’ secret to longevity may boil down to just one word: ikigai, which roughly translates to your reason for living – or your inner motivation for a specific professional activity.

It can also be described as an intersection between four different elements: what you’re passionate about, where your skills lie, how you can earn a living and what the world needs. Many Japanese believe that everyone has an ikigai, or destiny, that they were born to fulfill.

However, while some people find their ikigai quickly, others must seek it out over time. If you fall into this latter category, it’s important to persist; after all, ikigai will ultimately be what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.

That’s why Okinawans often attain a high degree of specialization and attention to detail in their daily work. For instance, in an Okinawan paintbrush factory, the authors met a skilled craftswoman who had spent her entire life perfecting the art of attaching individual hairs to a brush. At this stage in her career, she was able to do her job with stunning dexterity and skill.

What’s more, ikigai is also the key to longevity. So, if your ikigai is your job, you should never retire. And if your ikigai is a hobby that brings you meaning and joy, don’t ever give it up.

Okinawans abide by these rules and, as a result, remain active late into their lives. If they’re forced into retirement, they still find ways to remain active, such as by doing gardening or other work in their communities.

The benefits of this commitment are clear. Medical studies conducted on Okinawan centenarians have found extremely low rates of both heart disease and dementia.

In the next blink, you’ll learn how exactly an engaged mind enables a long life.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.